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Large Shareholders, Private Benefits of Control, and Optimal Schemes of Privatization


  • Francesca Cornelli
  • David D. Li


We analyze optimal schemes for privatization of state enterprises when foreign investors are potential buyers. The highest bidders may not be the best large shareholders for the state enterprise, since their bid may reflect only their high private benefit of control. The government finds itself facing a tradeoff between trying to obtain the highest possible payment (the "revenue" objective) and identifying the company that will operate better in the future (the "efficiency" objective). Therefore, ordinary auctions are not appropriate. Our optimal privatization schemes in many cases require the use of the number of shares sold as a crucial instrument to attract the most efficient investors.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesca Cornelli & David D. Li, 1997. "Large Shareholders, Private Benefits of Control, and Optimal Schemes of Privatization," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(4), pages 585-604, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:28:y:1997:i:winter:p:585-604

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    Cited by:

    1. Alberto Chong & Florencio de, 2003. "The Truth about Privatization in Latin America," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm436, Yale School of Management.
    2. Francesca Cornelli & Leonardo Felli, "undated". "Revenue Efficiency and Change of Control: The Case of Bankruptcy," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 18-98, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    3. Hans-Werner Sinn, 1999. "Inflation and Welfare: Comment on Robert Lucas," NBER Working Papers 6979, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Dalkır, Elif & Dalkır, Mehmet, 2014. "On the optimality of partial tender offers," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 561-570.
    5. Walsh, Patrick Paul & Whelan, Ciara, 2001. "Firm performance and the political economy of corporate governance: survey evidence for Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 85-112, June.
    6. Trojanowski, Grzegorz, 2008. "Equity block transfers in transition economies: Evidence from Poland," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 217-238, September.
    7. Pennings, Enrico, 2008. "Privatization of real options," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 489-497, September.
    8. Chen, Zhian & Li, Donghui & Moshirian, Fariborz, 2005. "China's financial services industry: The intra-industry effects of privatization of the Bank of China Hong Kong," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(8-9), pages 2291-2324, August.
    9. Jiang, Kun & Wang, Susheng, 2012. "Staged privatization: A market process with multistage lockups," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 1051-1070.
    10. Saul Estrin & Jan Hanousek & Evzen Kocenda & Jan Svejnar, 2009. "The Effects of Privatization and Ownership in Transition Economies," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(3), pages 699-728, September.
    11. Bennett, John & Maw, James, 2003. "Privatization, partial state ownership, and competition," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 58-74, March.
    12. Evans, Lewis, 1998. "The Theory and Practice of Privatisation," Working Paper Series 3936, Victoria University of Wellington, The New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation.
    13. At, Christian & Morand, Pierre-Henri, 2000. "The choice of the voting structure for privatizing a company," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 287-292, September.
    14. Banerji, Sanjay & Errunza, Vihang R., 2005. "Privatization under incomplete information and bankruptcy risk," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 735-757, March.

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